Grow Cucumbers Vertically – This is a More Effective Way
Vertical gardening sure sounds like an interesting and unusual idea that you may think cannot be done, but it is quite easy to do it. This is a method that has grown more in this past period, because, first of all, it allows gardeners to save up some space in their back yards as well as facilitate the harvesting process.
The vertical method is mostly recommended for growing cucumbers, because, in any other way, they will take up a lot of your space. If you want to ease your every day chores, then read on about how to grow your cucumbers in a vertical way and save a lot of space and effort.
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Grow Cucumbers Vertically
The cucumbers can usually occupy about 12 to 20 square feet (if you plant them in an old fashioned way). But, by planting them vertically you save up a lot of space, and you can do this by using containers, raised beds, or small plots of land.
Here is the initial phase of growing cucumbers:
- Find a suitable container – if you want to do this right, you will definitely need a big container, about 12 inches deep and wide, and because the cucumbers can be of a different kind, they should be treated differently too. For an example, if you grow a vining type it will definitely grow tall, and if you go for the bushy variety, it will remain short.
- Find the appropriate size and provide support – if you want your cucumbers to grow, they will need certain support and you can give them that by setting up a wire mesh fence, trellis or garden netting. If you decide to go with trellis, make sure to pick ones that are about 6 feet tall maximum. Keep in mind that the trellis has to be stiff so that it does not bend. When you place it, keep the lower edge 6 inches above the level of the soil. When you do this, you can alleviate the weeding and the cultivating process. Also, place the trellis in the furthest part of the yard, so that the vines do not throw shadow over your remaining plants.
- Prepare the planting area well – it is very important to prepare the soil for planting. First of all, you need to dig a hole, about 8 inches, and then mix about 1 inch layer of compost while you’re tilling the soil. You can easily do this by using a steady garden rake in order to mound the soil along the line of the trellis. This is a very important step, because it raises the planting beds about 2-3 inches above the ground.
- Planting and the propagation – the first thing you have to do here is sow the seeds. You have to sow them either in the pot or directly on your marked spot. Cover your seeds by using about 2 cm of soil. Then, you have to let the seeds to germinate. When this process is through, you will notice that your seeds have left small green leaves, so this is the part where you will need to transfer them. Start with what seems to you the healthiest seedling of them all, and keep transferring them to a larger pot or on a frost free ground. The best period for you to do this is in the spring or summer, because that is the time you have the best temperature for it. But, if you live it in warmer areas, you do not have to wait for spring or summer because you have an ideal temperature through the entire year. If you wish, you can even throw some decomposed manure on the soil.
Here are the factors which make the vertical cucumber growing possible:
- Position – the cucumbers must be exposed to sunlight, and also, because the wind is not very tender towards them, make sure you keep them safe.
- Soil – make sure that the soil you plant your cucumbers in is loose, dry and deep. Also, the soil has to be pH neutral and organic.
- Water – it is crucial that the water is available at the vertically growing cucumbers at all times. Water the cucumbers deep and every day, so that the soil is moist at all times. In addition to this, you will have to do irrigation equal to an inch of rainfall every three to four days. If you had planted them in a drier area. You have to do this more often. Just when the vines start to ripen, you just increase the mulch to 3-4 inches deep. Also, remember to keep the foliage away from the water, so that you prevent the fungi from occurring.
- Fertilizer – when growing the cucumbers vertically, you absolutely have to use fertilizer, which you will slowly place in the soil. The vines should be fertilized every two to three weeks. The first plant flowering should be an indicator that you should treat them with aged manure. As an alternative to this, use diluted liquid organic fertilizer right at the root. Do this alongside the watering. The plants must not be overfed too, because it will ruin the foliage and can result in less flowers and thus, less cucumbers.
One last tip – the cucumbers are best kept when they’re picked, because in this way you encourage your vines to grow and produce more cucumbers. Also, don’t forget that you have to keep all the pests away so that you get clean and tasty cucumbers.